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tv   [untitled]    May 25, 2012 1:00pm-1:30pm PDT

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task force, as well as to support the community. to g>> [inaudible] >> good morning, supervisors. my name is johanas. [unintelligible] >> i am a member of china's progress of association as well. i used to be a delivery driver. because might employer exploited the fact that they did not know what workers' rights were, they did not pay the overtime. because i thought that was fair, i went to the the labor enforcement agency. in the end, i got what i was owed in wages.
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>>actually, i was very lucky ben that these agencies were able to help me. a lot of people are afraid to stand up because they are afraid they will lose their job and not be able to make a living. so this is not just my experience, it is pretty prevalent, and not just in the chinese community. it happens in a different communities of color. it happens in white communities as well.
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it is not just affecting workers, but also families, responsible businesses, and the economy. that is why last year the chinese progress of the association passed the ordinance to end a wavewage theft, and wee you will support this task force. ignoring and >> good morning. i am the workers' rights coordinating attorney. the poverty caused by an unabated widespread theft of labor embarrasses the city. kymmenyet san francisco is homen
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embarrassment of riches and strong community organizations and dynamic progressive city agencies. it is our effort -- of our efforts are fragmented, we squander our unique gift. this is why we are asking for a wage theft task force. we have had the privilege of collaborating with the district attorney's office in their criminal prosecution of a contractor who defrauded homeowners and stole from 14 day labor clients. it has been privileged also to collaborate with office of labor standards enforcement, and the city attorney's office in a large wage death lawsuit against power car wash. by way of example, these cases stand to correct abuses in an
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entire industry that are rife with unlawful exploitation. our experience has revealed of an enormous opportunity for collaboration between agencies and community organization with each side bringing an essential strength to effectively aid -- and a wage thaend wafage theft. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am here on behalf of komen members. coleman advocates in district 11 and part of the progress of workers alliance. we have recently launched a johns campaign of which wage that in workers' rights in general is a very important piece, because it is not just about creating jobs, but about insuring jobs have good working
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conditions, and people are able to stay in their jobs without fear of being exploited. i also want to talk about our region and enforcement. the progress of workers alliance is extent -- asking for funds for an officer, because currently they are at capacity with regards to being able to enforce. additionally, our research and education is very important. there are many workers in the city that do not know their rights, and there are only three that are currently doing our reatreach. we are asking for $110,000 for an additional position, and $295,000 for increased funds for the worker's right collaborative. thank you.
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>> good morning, committee members. my name is connie ford, the secretary-treasurer of opeu local three, and in here to lend my support to this gallant effort. as we know, waste that is a crime. it is not only for those of us suffer from not getting their fair competition, but also a crime against the city. whether it is the health department so the public health department has to pay more money or whether they pay more for emergency rooms, which you all know is the most costly health care expense and our city. it is a crime against the treasury, because it does not give us the necessary compensation of taxes. also, a crime against good employers, because we have many
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good employers that are doing the right thing, following the values, paying a living wage, health care, supporting their workers and doing the best they can. if the competition happens to be those that do not follow rules, then something has to give. this is the next up and elevating the issue out of the shadows. whether it is construction, or all the other examples you have heard here today. time to lift this up a little bit further and bring city departments together, along with the community and continue to fight this epidemic, because we in sampras's go have great values. we believe in living wage and for health care, and we also believe every worker should be paid fair and just. think you. ank you. supervisor avalos: thank you.
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ok, please. >>please come to the center ais. >> i want to say a few words. i do not speak english, i am sorry. i work in a chinese restaurant, but this problem is very prevalent. some employers do not pay overtime.
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>> [unintelligible] >> a lot of employers are looking at each other. they are just watching each other, and the standards are getting lower and lower. i>> [speaking foreign language] >> if we want the employers to abide by the rules, then we need to enforce the laws and make them feel if they violate the law, they should be scared of the consequences.
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>> [speaking foreign language] >> it the employegf the employeg higher wages, everyone wins. the economy gets better, and workers get treated well. >> [speaking foregin language] >> i am also a victim of wage
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thaeft. they are afraid of the threat of being closed down. it is important to work with olsc, so even the threat of closing down, the employers are really afraid. >> [speaking foregin language] >> into zelda and three of work in a place by the golden gate bridge. i worked there for a month and was not paid for the whole month. i did name, we were not able to
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recover our wages because the boss ran away and disappeared. >> [speaking foreign l anguage] > we can hear a translation d really quick wrap up after that.
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>> he said currently i have another case where i work over 12 hours a day, and the employer does not pay me over time. this case is going through right now. we hope the city can address this issue. supervisor avalos: thank you. [laughter] [applause] [applause] >> my name is karen you. i want to confirm that the health department is in support of this task force. we have been working with the past year-and-a-half for some of the community groups in bringing employers to take their responsibilities as employers. supervisor avalos: thank you. any other member of the public that would like to speak? >> donna levit. good morning. i had the office of labor
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standards enforcement, and i would like to also add our support to the record of the task force. office of labor standards enforcement has worked hard to establish a speck of working relationships with other city agencies. this will bring us in the same room to collaborate and strategizing with members of the community with business representatives and community- based organizations, and i look forward to working with the task force to move this work for work. thank you very much for your leadership around this issue. supervisor avalos: thank you. we will close public comment. first off, i would like to thank people for being here. those who spoke in did not speak. and your courage for coming
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here, knowing there are perhaps risks at a time to speak out. i want to thank the translators who came to the podium, the ones that a translating my earphones. i also want to thank the efforts around the budget and making sure it can be stuffed, and worker rights community group is continuing as well, and so we would like to have a continuance as we prepare the budget for the next year. in my district, we've seen a lot of investments that are made all over sentences go for work force, commercial corridors, for big development projects. i think it is important that we look at worker rights, and understand a large part of san francisco who was working in our local economy does not always have the same rights as others, and we need to make sure we are equalizing the playing field. the office of labor standards
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enforcement plays that role. your work in the community plays that role. workers coming forward helps to play that role. i think the task force will be really important to make sure that we have real recommendations that can strengthen workforce development and against wage theft. in my district i am looking at putting in resources for serving workers, many of them who are immigrants, and worker rights in district 11. i want to thank you for your efforts in making that come forward. the folks that are representing the residents from district 11 for your work. this is a separate issue, but i see it as very related. i will be supported as we move forward. i am sure everyone on the panel wants to speak, so first up is supervisor olague. supervisor olage: i especilaguei
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especially want to thank the workers are having the courage to come up and speak against this. a movement is nothing without the workers having the courage to come forward. we would not be anywhere if the workers did not have the courage to stand up for justice in the workplace. i am especially grateful to the workers, because their car ri ourage will mean more justice and better situation for their co-workers. i think that is where we start, because it no one stepped forward, we would not be anywhere in this conversation today. i just wanted to mention that, and of course to the activists that have been vigilant in their work. i think it really takes that, because they do not know where they will land. they did not know if they will
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have to deal with retribution from their employer, so it is always a precarious situation for those that are sometimes living hand to mouth and taking care of families. it takes a special person to really come forward for that. i wanted to make mention of it. also, i think one thing -- i should not even say this perhaps, but the task force, i hope, deals with all employees. i am not suggesting anything other than we guard against racial profiling of certain businesses, too. this is something i thought i should mention, because these types of injustices have occurred at many workplaces, so we want to make sure we are not signalling out certain folks for this, and i do not think we
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would be. something that wanted to make mention of. finally, i think this is really showing that a lot of the conversations have been out there for many years. this did not start with the minimum wage campaign, but that let them start with paid sick leave and how to create a more just space for people to work in. i just think that one movement winds to the other to the other to the other. i think the establishment of this task force is just the beginning of hopefully more focus on trying to prevent exploitation of workers at the workplace. i am just really happy to support this. again, there is a lot more work to do, but i fully support it.
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supervisor mar: i just wanted to thank the community-based organizations for bringing up the stories of workers and businesses that are trying hard to end wage theft. it takes tremendous courage because of the fear of retailers like -- retaliation, which is real and many of the stories. i really appreciate that. i think the task force will make it so that we have an accountable system, so that we can make sure there is the strongest possible enforcement in different coordination of the apartment -- departments. i really appreciate the effort to create a system with the august 2011and the second part,s and community organizations have a voice. i want to thank the enforcement group for their great work. i think the workers made the
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point that this is not just in that one or two neighborhoods, but it is neighborhoods all over the city. i think that was a really important point. i wanted to reiterate one of the points that supervisor campos made. this is not about a few bad apples employers, but it is an epidemic around the country and in san francisco. we're talking about a few employers better doing this. that is why many of the business community and worker organizations are united in support of this. the overwhelming majority of the small businesses in our community are responsible and follow the law. small businesses are definitely the backbone of the jobs in our economy in our city. this ordinance helps our economy because it ends unfair competition by the handful of unscrupulous employers that are stealing from their workers. i am proud to have support of the wage step campaigns and the
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strategic effort of the progress of workers alliance with other members of the board of supervisors. thank you so much to supervisor campos for taking the lead on this issue. and what did the progressive workers alliance as well. supervisor campos: thank you. again, i want to reiterate what the supervisors have said, and i want to especially thank the workers for having the courage to come forward. what is amazing about a worker who comes and testifies on something like wage theft is that not only are they doing something to address their own situation, but they are also making things better for their co-workers, as supervisor olague said. i think that be on the practical implications of that, it is something that inspires other workers to say that you did not have to be afraid in san francisco to come forward if
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your rights are being violated, and it is a very courageous thing to do. i want to thank all the workers who spoke of other individual cases here. that is not an easy thing to do. i also want to acknowledge the involvement of the various agencies. we heard about the tremendous work that the office of labor standards and enforcement is doing. but i also want to acknowledge the city attorney's office, which is present here. they have filed a couple of cases that hopefully have sent a very strong message that wage deft is not going to be tolerated in san francisco. -- that wage theft is not going to be tolerated. want to thank our district attorney as well for the prosecution's that they have moved forward. again, to send a clear message that san francisco will not tolerate this kind of activity. the department of public health committee treasures office, the office of small business as well. and i also see that we have
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someone from the police department here, and i want to thank the police department for being here, because i think this highlights the fact that work theft is a crime. we have been talking a lot about job creation in san francisco, and we are all very supportive of creating job opportunities for all san franciscans, but it is not just about creating those opportunities. once they are created and people have jobs, you have to make sure that their wages are paid it to them, that that fine work that people do is rewarded. so i am very proud to be a part of this effort, which would not be possible, once again, without the amazing work of the community-based organizations like young workers united, a progressive workers alliance, the progressive association, so many that make it possible. i, again, look forward to your support, and thank you very much for the opportunity.
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supervisor avalos: thank you, supervisor campos, for bringing this forward. colleagues -- supervisor olague? supervisor olague: this is a weird request. i wanted to ask the translators could -- just make sure that the workers know how much we appreciate their efforts. that is all. i just wanted to make sure that they know that we're very proud of the work they're engaged in as well. supervisor avalos: colleagues, can we have a motion to move this forward with the recommendation? motion from supervisor mar. second from supervisor olague. we can take that without objection. [applause] congratulations. we have no other items before us. is that correct? >> well, we have our special order at 4:00 p.m., so we can recess until 4:00 p.m.
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supervisor avalos: ok, we can recess this meeting until 4:00 p.m., and we will hear the next item at that time. >>
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